Colorado Marijuana Taxes Fund Sims-Style RPG Aimed at Substance Abuse

A Denver-based nonprofit that focuses on fighting substance abuse will be able to try a new approach to curbing drug addiction thanks to a sizable infusion of cash derived from the state’s cannabis tax revenue.

Peer Assistance, a company that has spent the last three decades helping people conduct difficult intervention-related conversations with their loved ones about drug use, will use a $200,000 contribution from the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing to fund a new project called “One Degree: Shift the Influence.”

One Degree is a web- or app-based simulation tool that replicates conversations about drug and alcohol abuse for friends and family members to practice and gain insight before intervening to help someone close to them.

The role-playing activity somewhat resembles the video game series, “The Sims,” where virtual characters can converse and interact with each other. One Degree features two different scenarios designed to help players better understand both sides of the situation. One scenario highlights “Donna,” a recently divorced woman who is relieving stress and grief by drinking alcohol excessively. The other…

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